What Is An Effective Worship Leader?

In an effort to continually improve at what I do, I’m always stacking myself up against people who are much better at it than me. Guys like Redman, Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kim Walker, Hillsong, and even guys in my church seem so natural and transparent when leading. The question I want to always ask myself is what are those recurring qualities among the most effective worship leaders and how do those qualities weigh against my character?

I’m not talking tattoos, skinny jeans, and scarves. Those are just obvious. Duh.

An effective worship leader…

  • is a discerning servant of the Spirit who leads by listening
  • initiates and models authenticity in the gathering and in his or her life
  • invests in the lives of his or her congregation
  • plans flexibly and knows when to get out of the way
  • has a deep hunger for the Word of God

These are some qualities and trends I’ve observed in some of my worship leading heroes. I’ll be honest with you. I struggle with most of these every time I set foot on stage to lead, so these are truly things I strive for on a daily basis. It was indicting to write them, and I kept trying to soften them up a bit. But that would just be dumb.

Think about your worship leading heroes. Would you add anything to the list?


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